GeoGebra 4.0 Sneak Peek 2: The Graphical User Interface

This is the second part of the GeoGebra Sneak Peek Series. The first part is about the GeoGebra 4.0 New Tools.

GeoGebra 4.0 has not only improved by adding additional tools and features, there are also “minor” changes which I think you will find very helpful. In this post, we are going to discuss the seven minor changes in the GeoGebra’s interface.

The GeoGebra 4.0 Beta window

Again, GeoGebra 4.0 is still in Beta form – meaning these features might still be slightly changed.

Seven “Minor” Changes in GeoGebra’s GUI

1. The Perspective Menu

The most obvious change when you open the GeoGebra 4.0 window is the addition of the Perspectives menu. This menu will let you to choose the type of Perspective (combination of windows) to show.

The Perspective Menu

The Basic Geometry perspective, for example, only reveals a blank drawing pad and displays the basic tools with no drop down list of tools. The Table & Graphics perspective shows the Spreadsheet View and a blank drawing pad.

Note: GeoGebra has changed the term “drawing pad” to Graphics View to be consistent with Algebra and Spreadsheet Views. From now on, we will use the term Graphics View in lieu of drawing pad.

2. Sort Object by Type

Another small improvement (which I really like very much) is the Sort Object by Type toggle button in the Algebra window. This enables you to sort the objects into two types — the first is to three categories:  Free, Independent, and Auxiliary Objects, and the other one is to sort into object types: Line, Segments, Number, Point, etc (see Figure 1).

3. Styling Bar

Thank goodness because we don’t have to right click or double click an object and open the Properties window when we want to change the color, style, size, or label type of a particular object.

The Styling Bar

In GeoGebra 4.0, a new styling bar is located at the top of the Graphics view. It can be shown/hidden using a toggle button discussed in number 4.

4. Action Buttons

I am not sure if the GeoGebra team has given a name for these three buttons (I can’t find it), but for now we will call them Action Buttons. The first one on the left is the Toggle Styling Bar button which shows/hides the Styling Bar. The second is the Show View in New Window button which lets the current window float.  The third one with the x is of course, the Close button.

5. The Greek Letters Window

The very long drop down list of Greek letters in version 3.2 is now in tabular form.

The Greek Letters window

This is a great improvement because we don’t have to do a lot of mouse scrolling.

6. The Command History

The command history is also improved. In the last version, you have to press the UP arrow key on your keyboard to view the previous inputs from the input bar, but in version 4.0, you just have to click the up button to show the list.

7. Input Help

The GeoGebra commands are more organized. The are now sorted into categories and not just listed alphabetically. We can use the Input Help toggle button as shown in Figure 1 to display the list of commands, then we can do the 4-step instruction below to use the command below.

The Input Help

So there we have it, the seven minor changes in GeoGebra. In the next post, we are going to discuss the text tool which was entirely rewritten for better functionality.

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